Thursday, June 12, 2014

How I put together my product collections - Step 1

I have created product lines for many years now, from children's & women's to wear, to my own art and decor line. Creating cohesive collections is a process that's is relatively simple and with some basic outlined steps, it's actually such an achievable process, you can't go wrong.

Following these steps makes it much easier to promote your product via social media, on your blog, and when pitching your products to blogs, magazines, or PR companies. It's even easier for customers shopping if products are grouped together in a category or design story. Keeping it visually simple is the key.

I have been asked how I put my collections together, which first allow me to just say, that my way not be the text book way so to speak. It has worked for me for years now, and I think keeping it fun and simple has helped.

I use 6 steps when building my collections, which I will break up over the next few posts. here is the first, & for me the most fun......ideas!!

#1 Whats your idea?
This is the fun question. Do you have a theme in mind? What are you inspired about? What makes your heart beat? Are you following a trend or will you create your own?
Grab your magazines and start tearing out all the images that are making your mind go crazy with ideas. Start surfing the net and check out to see what all of your favourites brands are doing, and that includes your competitors. Make sure to see whats on sale also, as that will be a good indicator of whats not working. After a few hours of losing time web surfing, you should start to see some trends emerging.
Another good idea is to hit the streets and see whats happening on the retail floor in your main shopping district, and high end boutiques. Not only does it get you away from the computer, and walking, it's brilliant for seeing products first hand and having the whole sensory experience of see, feel, hear and smell. So much better than a computer screen

It's important to take into consideration are you working a season ahead or further? I try to work 6 months ahead. I say try. The fact I manufacture my products locally (in Australia), I can have a faster turn around, so sometimes I will work a little closer, it depends on my current workload. But I do try to aim to work much further ahead, especially for celebration times like Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day.

Here are a couple of mood boards examples I found online to show some different options.

fashion inspiration - image source

food inspiration - source

This was my ballet inspiration board from a while ago.

Colour inspiration - source

Once you have collected all of your images that are inspiring the pants off you, it's time to get them all on to a mood board. I personally like to print things out and pin them on a cork board, I believe this is the best way to get your ideas out. From images, sketches, yarn colours, fabric and paint swatches, words, photographs, literally anything that makes your heart sing. Or create them digitally on a computer, or via pinterest, it doesn't matter as long as you can see them all the time and you don't lose track of your vision.

The next step I use is sketching which I will discuss next time.

I hope that's has helped? Enjoy finding amazing images for inspiration.

If you are loving this series please share this information, thank you x

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